Airline’s route networks resemble more closely what they years ago than just a few months ago. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Dr. Just urges travelers to opt for the direct flight whenever possible. Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. That said, an anti-expat, anti-tourist sentiment has been steadily growing in Amsterdam. Thanksgiving travel: How to stay safe … It use to be clean, but hundreds upon hundreds of homeless has changed all that. When determining whether or not to fly, consider your fellow passengers. The passengers included seven people believed to have been potentially infectious and 16 passengers later tested positive, the BBC reported. “If you’re taking several legs, you will sit next to several passengers.” Direct flights mean less airports and less exposures overall. Given these restrictions and recommendations, travelers might wonder if it’s safe to fly. Popeyes is debuting its world-famous Chicken Sandwich in Guadalajara, Mexico in a new campaign, “Visit Guadalajara, la Ciudad del Sandwich.”. More than 836,000 people passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints on Nov. 9 — almost 10 times more than on Apr. Know the risks involved with traveling to Mexico and take the right precautions. Travel alert issued after new law passed in Lone Star State TEXAS tourists have been warned about travelling to the American state after the passing of a new law. Reply. “The whole process of airports… and squishing people together. The initial June 1, 2020 reopening of hotels is too soon. Any part of the trip where you can’t social distance is more risky since the virus transmits most efficiently when people are in close contact together, including at the airport food court and standing at the gate before boarding, Adalja added. Researchers said factors that may prevent transmission on planes include the airflow in the cabin from the ceiling to the floor, and all passengers wearing face coverings — a policy that’s now vigorously enforced by airlines. The larger plane created more space in all cabins, but was a specific plus for Kelly, who snagged extra privacy (and protection) in a pod-like business class seat. Harteveldt also suggests taking advantage of any and all mobile apps or contactless versions of the process, like using your own personal device to stream in-flight entertainment, avoiding checking bags, and planning your trip so you spend as little time as possible in the airport. Harteveldt mentions that some precautions include touchless kiosks, frequent cleaning, hand sanitizer stations, self-removal of personal items during security checks, and plexiglass shields in front of traveler-facing employees, from gate agents to shop cashiers. "So, at some point, it's not going to be any riskier to go to another country than it is to stay right here." Some airlines, like JetBlue, even require passengers to wear face coverings over their mouths and noses throughout check-in, boarding, in flight, and while deplaning, while others may only require that masks be worn on board. Far away from all the virus’s hotspots, you should feel safe in South Africa. As summer approaches and vacation season begins, people are wondering—especially with the threat of COVID-19 still very real. In a nutshell, it all boils down to weighing the many variables and deciding how comfortable you feel getting back on a plane. This is worth looking into, especially if you are flying into a higher-risk destination where cases are rising. If you have to travel right now, here’s how to stay as safe as possible. Two studies that appear in the November edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal published by the CDC, suggest the new coronavirus virus can be transmitted during air travel. Now you have to get there. Evidence "strongly" suggests one symptomatic passenger sitting in business class transmitted COVID-19 to at least 12 other passengers nearby — plus two travelers and one flight attendant in economy class — during the flight, the authors noted. The biggest question at the moment is whether or not Cancun is safe right now. Passengers will be notified 24 hours before their flight if it is likely to be full. For that reason, Mina has chosen not to travel and hasn’t flown since February, he noted. As a cancer patient, is it safe for me to travel by airplane right now? Delta will limit capacity and block middle seats through Sept. 30, capping the main cabin at no more than 60 percent. Policies that leave the middle seat open or otherwise limit the number of passengers on a plane are helping reduce the risk, too, Adalja said. While most people who contract COVID-19 will likely recover. Carriers like American Airlines have been touting the use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters on board that capture “at least 99.97% of airborne microbes by circulating the cabin air once every 2 to 4 minutes.”. "The required aircraft systems do a really good job of controlling airborne bacteria and viruses.". Both fliers with likely onboard transmission sat within two rows of the tourists who already had COVID-19, the study found. United, for example, is only flying 10 percent of its scheduled flights. Since flight times for both domestic and international flights can be anywhere between one hour and double-digits, it’s safer to choose destinations with shorter overall flight times. It's not clear that two hours spent on a plane involved a higher COVID-19 infection risk than two hours doing any other everyday activities during the pandemic, Barnett concluded in the study. Some state officials are reassuring the public that it’s safe to fly, citing the lack of coronavirus cases connected to airlines. Universal Orlando opened back up to the general public on June 5 (with limited capacity), and the Walt Disney World Resort reopened on July 11.. Right Now? If you plan to fly soon, Adalja recommended taking all the usual precautions during the trip: Wash your hands frequently, wear a face covering as required, avoid the crowded parts of the airport and try to stay 6 feet apart from everybody. “It’s a critical step travelers can take to reduce their potential to spread the virus. (But that’s still about one-third of passenger volume seen on the same day in 2019.). Depends on whether you bought a refundable ticket or have the right kind of travel insurance. Is flying safe right now? We spoke with immunology specialist Patrick Hwu, M.D., to help our cancer patients navigate COVID-19 travel decisions. “International travel is off a cliff, and airlines are going to start putting bigger jets back on the market,” he explained. Remember, you may have the virus and be asymptomatic.” His sentiment was echoed by nearly everyone we spoke with. U pdated Nov. 4, 2020. So, think about it in these terms: If you are in that category and you want to take a risk, think about how important it is for you.” Dr. Nanos echoes and adds to this advice, saying, “It’s probably best for those people to kind of lay low for a little while, but again, it’s that level of personal risk that everyone is willing to assume.”. After 2019 headlines of bodies being found in Cancun and a few nightclub shootings several miles from the tourist zone, the fire was re-ignited regarding safety in Cancun for vacationers. Should you travel for the winter holidays in 2020? “Take the same precautions that you would take being indoors anywhere,” she advises, “whether you're going to a restaurant or movie theaters (which are now open here in California).”. Is Cancun safe right now? By Trae Bodge. “My concern has really been in the airports funneling people through hallways and jet ways and metal detectors,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, during a briefing in August. These are all important things to keep in mind as the holiday travel season approaches. Coronavirus: How to fly safe. Fear of flying means something altogether different in the age of the new coronavirus. Is it safe to fly right now? Mexico is safe to visit so long as you are aware and make the right decisions. “So, if there are 12 [first-class] seats, there will be only six passengers, and there will be more physical distance around you.” While the experts agreed that there is likely to be more overall space, especially between passengers in first class, it’s likely not going to make much of a difference, unless you’re in a particularly secluded seat or suite, or the airline is limiting business or first-class capacity. “And it felt completely safe.” This low capacity is one reason international flights may be a better bet, though international travel is a lot trickier due to restrictions, cautious borders, and cities that may not yet be ready to entertain tourists. Hager recommends researching what cities, neighborhoods, and even streets are safe… Kelly also recommends that travelers reduce risk by driving themselves to the airport, wearing sunglasses for the duration of the flight to help prevent touching their face, investing in a face covering that will not easily fall down or slip, and packing their own snacks since in-flight service and airport vendors may be minimal. Florida currently has no travel restrictions. Experts were cautiously optimistic about air travel. But all of the research involves flights that took place several months ago when there were no measures in place to prevent transmission, like face masks or distancing passengers on the plane. If I Have to Travel, Are Planes Safe Right Now? Airlines start to prepare for holiday travel season Many airplanes also use HEPA filters, which completely refresh the cabin air throughout the flight and work to filter out over 99 percent of airborne viruses, bacteria, and other contagions. This was different — it felt and looked spick and span.”. Study shows that how a respiratory virus travels on an airplane is unknown, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Here’s what the experts have to say. As optometrists and ophthalmologists begin to open their offices for elective procedures, you may be wondering if it's safe to go to the eye doctor right now. It all depends on who's sitting beside you since it’s usually 10-15 minutes of close proximity — not fleeting contact — that transmits the new coronavirus virus, he said. Most airlines have also suspended food and drink service, removed literature in seatback pockets, and done away with any other nonessential service touchpoints that could elevate risk. So you've decided you'll take a trip during the coronavirus pandemic. The safety and security of our guests and employees at LAX is our first priority. Prepare for it to feel different. What to know about air travel and COVID-19. I have flights booked to go on Feb. 9 (from New Zealand, Auckland to Houston, Texas and then travel by car to San Miguel de Allende with my mother) with my 10 … “COVID-19 is not over,” said Dr. Just. The safest thing to do right now is stay away with places with more than … Luckily, popular airlines like Delta, United, and Southwest have rapidly adjusted their rules and guidelines to follow social distancing rules. “Normally planes get turned around [for a new flight] every hour, and most flights get a very cursory cleaning,” he said. Is it safe to visit Texas? AmeliaMcGrath said 6 months ago. These risks exist at Texas airports right now, though in varying degrees. Pray now, fly later. Previously, she was a writer, producer and editor at CNN. Yeah, that photo may not be the most re-assuring thing to see if you are wondering how safe it is to fly right now or in the near future. Andy Christie, global private jets director at Air Charter Service, a global charter brokerage service that helps connect travelers with private charter flights, says that taking a private charter flight can almost “completely minimize the risk of transmission,” simply by reducing the number of contact points and exposures. Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Once on board, passengers will be permitted to switch seats within their ticketed cabin, depending on availability. Is it safe to fly? This study didn't take into account the risk associated with being in a crowded airport or boarding a flight. These in addition to all of the other safety tips we’ve given you, should be considered when and if … For travelers wondering whether it’s worth splurging for a seat in business or first class for added safety, it depends. Depending on demand, the airline may change, cancel, or rebook you. Airlines are still struggling and only running just a fraction of their usual flights, but passenger numbers are slowly rising, particularly in the U.S. As more travelers start taking advantage of the loosened restrictions and reopenings, dare we say things are looking up for air travel? But this has not been a typical summer in Florida. Texas Gov. In short: no, not right now. "There are things they shouldn't be doing and one of the things they shouldn't be doing in … … If you must fly, here are some things to consider We don't know if you can potentially get it again or at what point or in a different variation.” She also warns of antibody tests with false positives, and that making assumptions based on previous exposure or positive antibody tests can cause people to be more brazen and less cautious when traveling. “Some airlines, including Delta and Alaska, are limiting the number of people seated in first class, so that is basically 50 percent of the capacity,” said Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and principal at Atmosphere Research. “You have just not seen airlines lead to outbreaks.”. Meanwhile, Southwest will keep middle seats open through at least Sept. 30, and Alaska Airlines will follow suit through July 31. Jordan Heuvelmans January 29, 2020 Stock/Getty Images It’s common to be nervous walking through an airport whenever there is an outbreak of a virus. The hop-on, short-haul jet service JSX offers a compromise: a private jet experience at near-commercial prices (average fares are $190 and include checked bags, seat assignments, snacks, and drinks, including alcohol — an item that was recently removed on some major airlines). “So, if there’s a state or local guideline that says that face coverings are required, you are required as a passenger to keep your face covering on.” He says there are exceptions, like if you’re eating or drinking, or going through TSA and need to pull down your mask to check your identification. Now the biggest concern is how to keep from becoming infected. As a person who is living in the USA, which has right now the most Covid-19 cases, I can tell you that the USA isn’t really safe for travel. Additionally, airlines like United, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Delta, and Southwest have implemented the use of electrostatic antimicrobial sprays to thoroughly disinfect every nook and cranny of the cabin, either overnight or between certain flights. In addition, at least two other passengers later also tested positive — the authors noted they weren’t able to contact all 102 people on board plus the crew. The number one thing is to recognize your responsibility. Brian Kelly, CEO and founder of The Points Guy, recently took his first flight since quarantine and said there wasn’t even a single smudge mark on his in-flight TV screen. It’s worth researching the amount of space between passengers on your aircraft. “It certainly will not be over before the end of this calendar year, and it may go on for longer. After months of stay-at-home orders and closed borders, cities around the world have begun the process of reopening, travel restrictions have started to soften, and leisure travelers are itching to hit the road again. In this critical situation, where everyone is at a high risk, flights are comparatively low. A study published in August examined a flight from Israel to Germany in March. Experts break down the risks associated with boarding a flight during COVID-19. “It is much safer to take one flight,” he said. Even still, is it actually safe to take a flight right now? Tampa International Airport requires face masks to be worn by everyone, while Orlando International Airport only requires “badged employees” to wear face masks. Here's what you need to know. One concerning example of what can go wrong is a flight from Greece to Wales on Aug. 25. However, as late as May 19, 2020, Governor Gonzalez said the best action to take right now is staying home. Here's What Experts Have to Say Featured image courtesy of Cody Ash/Getty Images Reply. Many airlines are also offering disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer to passengers, though all of the experts we spoke with suggested bringing your own just to be safe. More travelers are returning to the skies months after the crisis began. Another analysis of an international flight, this one from China to Canada in January, found a sick passenger didn’t infect anyone else on board. Air travel — a staple of pre-pandemic life that took one of the hardest hits when the coronavirus began to spread — still raises many concerns for people worried about catching COVID-19. Currently, the ASTA advises monitoring sources like the CDC and State Department, and checking with your doctor before deciding whether or not travel is safe for you. As domestic demand rises and airlines test their legs and schedules, domestic flights are more likely to ebb and flow, so expect disruptions, sudden changes, and/or flight consolidations. From the lobby to the guest room, we look at how safe it is to stay in a hotel right now – plus what you can do to protect yourself. The February 2020 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll caught Bernie Sanders’ apparent rise and troubling times for Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest, even as the race changes on a seemingly day-to-day basis heading into the end of the beginning of the delegate-earning phase of the contest. Fingers crossed things don't change again, but if it does i'm sure it's with everyone's safety at top of mind. Some researches show that while flying, you have a shallow risk of catching something. We know that this virus can be airborne and it can linger for a little bit.”. Gathering with others has never required so much thought as during this pandemic. Kelly also suggests looking into the aircraft that is scheduled for your flight. “Now that I have been there, I believe Mexico is an option for travelers who are itching to get away,” she says. Private charters eliminate the need to wait in lines, share a plane with strangers, or even step foot inside a terminal. Sabrina said 6 months ago. Other expert tips include opening the in-flight air vent to help circulate the air around you, bringing your own stash of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes and wiping down your entire seating area, packing your own blanket and pillow (provided you wash them between uses), and immediately sanitizing your hands every time you touch any surfaces or possible contaminants. Don't fly if you're sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick. So, do some research before planning a trip this summer. Is it safe to visit Texas? She’s still planning on traveling, but the change raised some flags. “If you want to wear a contraption or scrub down your seat, I would say that judgment is no longer there,” said Kelly. “There was one passenger every three rows,” he said. CNN Travel explores whether it's safer to fly or to drive. Adalja is a major advocate of face shields, which he believes are superior to face masks because they’re easier to wear, protect your eyes and prevent you from touching your face. "We expect that the week of Thanksgiving is actually going to be the busiest week at United Airlines since the onset of the pandemic," Josh Earnest, United Airlines senior vice president, told TODAY. It may not be absolutely perfect, but it’s still very safe to visit Amsterdam right now. More travelers are returning to the skies months after the crisis began. Recalling his own transatlantic flight home from Germany in May, Dr. Just says that the plane was empty. Don’t miss out on visiting the famous Kruger National Park. Since the virus is already out there, should I avoid plane travel just to be safe? With ten times as many tourists as residents, it’s easy to see why demand outstrips supply. “Start by wearing a covering,” said Harteveldt. It’s not enough to know what states are dangerous in Mexico. Is It Safe to Fly During the COVID-19 Outbreak? CEO Alex Wilcox says JSX has also implemented new pandemic-focused safety features and procedures, like contactless check-in, mobile boarding passes, mandatory face masks, wiping down handles on checked luggage, and thermal screenings during the airline’s TSA-approved security check. If you are concerned about safety in Mexico, I can tell you, ees, it is safe for you to travel in Mexico, but not right now with the coronavirus spreading and no travel Bans. Now officials must build trust around vaccine in the community California L.A. County at ‘catastrophic’ COVID-19 levels, with 13,815 new cases and more than 500,000 total So, I am a little concerned about that.”. United Airlines and the Department of Defense recently teamed up on a six-month study that found the risk of contracting COVID-19 on commercial flights was low when passengers wore masks for the entirety of the flight. We didn’t stay long needless to say as there’s really nothing good to see right now. Texas is a vast state with plenty of space for visitors, but it’s not 100% open or running at full capacity right now. Flying now, even in the midst of the current crisis, is as safe as it is on any other day. How safe — or risky — is it to fly? “Significant others and close friends, they should sit together — and away from others.” Splitting up or dispersing around the plane only increases the amount of exposure of the unit. “I wouldn’t fly a full flight right now. A recent paper by Arnold Barnett, a statistics professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, looked at the probability of an air traveler contracting COVID-19 from a nearby passenger while sitting in economy class on a two-hour domestic U.S. flight. American Airlines will lift capacity restrictions on flights starting July 1, reversing its decision to limit flights to 85 percent volume. A Q&A for anyone confused about traveling right now. So how safe is air travel now when it comes to COVID-19 transmission? Airlines have also implemented enhanced cleanings, temperature checks and traveler health acknowledgments during check-in. Airlines start to prepare for holiday travel season, Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, Simple ways to stay safe from coronavirus next time you fly, United says blocking middle seats on planes is a ‘PR strategy, not a safety strategy’, Thousands of airline workers lose their jobs, Struggling airline industry hopes Covid protocols will restore customer confidence, Delta Air Lines CEO: ‘You cannot board a Delta plane without a mask on’, What is it like to fly now? Below, Nagrani and Jeremy Tarr, digital editorial director of Fodor’s Travel, share their guidance for safe air travel right now. Anyone traveling together should stick together and socially distance from other travelers. That being said, when it comes to flying during a pandemic, safety is measured on a sliding scale. Health wise no problem.Whatif you are caught for quarantine at destination or after return.Thermal scanner and Covid test results are whimsical to say the least,abundant precaution weighs more than hardship caused to quarantined person. Unfortunately, rules and risks shift when it comes to travelers with pre-existing conditions or those who are in the vulnerable category for the novel coronavirus. United Airlines said the company is expecting to see last-minute bookings up 40% compared to last year and they've added 1,400 flights to meet demand. Should You Travel in the U.S. Dr Tang, meanwhile, says he would fly with precautions. "Safe is a relative term," Dr. Russo says. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. ... We spoke to experts to break down the most pressing questions about flying right now. One or both of the passengers most likely contracted COVID-19 in North America and then transmitted the virus to the flight attendants, the authors wrote. Additionally, if your airline isn’t blocking middle seats in economy, the upgrade is definitely something to consider. On his recent United flight from Newark to Los Angeles, United swapped out the small plane that usually flies the route for a wide-body 787, which Kelly says is typically flown on long-haul flights to Israel. Ideally, you should aim for non-peak flights and times, but it may just come down to what’s available. Fewer available flights means a smaller breadth of options when it comes to choosing what time or even what day to fly. He assumed everyone was wearing masks. Ron DeSantis in August during a roundtable discussion with aviation executives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. There is right now civil unrest happening everywhere, a dictatorial president, and right wing guerrilla groups in the south. "If I get on a plane, I'll be wearing a mask. Still, Dr. Nanos urges travelers to make a comparable risk assessment. “We don't know how much immunity an antibody test carries for some people. In order to limit exposure to other passengers, travelers are also being asked not to wait in the aisles or galley for the lavatory. The capital of Texas is home to a major university and it’s the state hub for politics, technology, music, film and an increasingly popular food scene. You should avoid all nonessential travel. In short: no, not right now. Previous research resulted in mixed findings. Long flights can "provide conditions for superspreader events," they wrote, warning the risk for on-board transmission is "real," even with spacious seating arrangements in business class. “Right now, there are more cons than pros to flying,” he said. 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